A classic chess opening. The Giuoco Piano dominated, with the Kings Gambit, in the 1800s and is considered the more restrained and patient of the two. It's also known as The Italian Game. It's the opening which most books and people will tell you to study when you first start because it makes so much use of the standard concepts important for openings, which are control the center with your pawns, develop pieces rapidly, castle quickly and move your rook to e1. It was nicknamed the quiet game, I guess this was because in comparison to the Kings Gambit it is pretty tame, even though the Piano can become very aggresive. White focuses the attack on the F7 square while trying to maintain the center to prevent counter attacks. Here is the chess notation.

1 e4   e5
2 Nf3  Nc6 
3 Bc4  Bc5

This opening transposes into many different openings including The Two Knights or The Four Knights and for the gambit oriented, the super fun Evans Gambit. One of the lines that often occurs in the Piano is the Guioco Pianissimo (the very quiet game),

1. e4  e5 
2. Nf3 Nc6 
3. Bc4 Bc5 
4. Nc3 Nf6 
5. d3  d6

This happens a lot of the time and is a pretty natural progression. It leads to a locked down board and is good to play against people who like gambits and wild open games. However, I feel that when a board becomes locked like this the intiative that white should be capatilizing on becomes diminished. Here is an example of white on a successful center pawn push courtesy of chess God, Paul Morphy (i realize it deviates slightly from the main line with the third move being c3 but the concepts still apply and c3 normally finds its way into the Piano at move four or five),

Morphy vs Cunningham, London, 1859


1. e4 e5 
2. Bc4 Bc5 
3. c3 Nc6 
4. Nf3 Nf6 
5. d4 exd4 
6. e5 Qe7 
7. O-O Ng8 
8. cxd4 Bb6 
9. d5

While there are definetly ways of trapping each other in the The Giuoco Piano it seems that the idea behind this opening for white is to try and follow the classic theory of chess, while doing something a little off beat to not fall into the Guioco Pianissimo, and then get to an Endgame where you have a positional advantage.

Chess Openings
Endgames in Chess

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